A summertime classic, you just can’t beat a juicy, flavorful grilled hamburger recipe! With just 5 ingredients and a few minutes over a hot flame, grilling hamburgers is easier than you might think. Serve the restaurant-quality meal with a side of potato salad, baked potato wedges, pasta salad, or baked beans for an easy dinner that the whole family will love!
Best Grilled Hamburger Recipe Ever
I live in a house with four boys, so needless to say, a big, juicy grilled hamburger recipe is a staple in our meal rotation. We’ve tried many versions over the years, but my taste-testers always agree — this simple combination of ground beef, onion, and seasoning yields the best grilled hamburgers ever. You don’t need fillers like breadcrumbs or egg…just let the flavor of the meat shine!
Meat for Hamburgers
The meat is the most essential component of any homemade burger recipe. After all, if you start with the wrong type of beef, you’ll end up with tough, dry burgers. No, thank you!
The best ground beef for grilled hamburgers is either “ground chuck” (80/20 mix) or “ground round” (85/15 mix). You need enough fat in the meat to keep the burgers juicy, but not too much that it causes flare-ups on the grill. Using leaner meat (such as a 90/10 mix like “ground sirloin”) yields a dry hamburger, so if that’s all that you have on hand, you’ll want to add some fat to the mix (such as olive oil or bacon).
Ingredients for Grilling Hamburgers
This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for grilling hamburgers. As always, specific measurements and complete step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Ground beef: as noted above, the best meat for this grilled hamburger recipe is either an 80/20 mix or an 85/15 mix.
- Onion: adds savory flavor and a bit of moisture to the patties.
- Worcestershire sauce: for salty umami flavor. This is a key “secret” ingredient!
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the natural flavor of the meat.
How to Grill Hamburgers
Making a foolproof grilled hamburger recipe with just a few simple tips!
- Combine. In a large bowl, use your fingers or a fork to gently combine the ground beef, diced onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
- Shape. Divide the meat into 6 equal portions. Use cupped hands to gently toss one portion of meat into the shape of a loose ball. Flatten into a 1-inch patty, pressing a small dimple in the middle. This small indentation will prevent the burgers from “puffing up” during grilling. Repeat with remaining beef to shape 5 more patties.
- Chill. Place the patties on a tray that has been lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Grill. Cook the hamburgers on a propane gas grill, indoor grill pan, or griddle or cast iron skillet on the stove over high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side (or see the chart below for more specific cooking times). Flip carefully and don’t press down as the burgers cook!
Hamburger Grill Time Chart
Make sure that you preheat your propane gas grill or indoor grill pan to “HIGH” heat, which should be a temperature of 450°F – 500°F. Here’s a handy time chart that I created to help you gauge the general cooking time for your perfect hamburger. Of course, these times are only estimates. The total time for grilling hamburgers varies depending on the temperature of the grill and the thickness of the patties.
Please note that the USDA recommends cooking ground meats to an internal temperature of 160°F, which is well-done without any pink in the center. If you prefer a more rare burger (such as medium or medium-rare burgers), consume at your own risk. And as always, an instant-read meat thermometer is the best way to know when your grilled hamburgers have reached your preferred temperature.
What to Put on a Burger
Pile your grilled hamburgers high with any of your favorite toppings! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, or mayonnaise
- Sliced red onions or caramelized onions
- Sautéed mushrooms
- American cheese (for a classic cheeseburger) or Swiss cheese (for a delicious combination with sautéed mushrooms and onions)
- Crispy fried bacon
- Sliced tomato
- Guacamole or sliced avocado
- Fried Green Tomatoes and Pimento Cheese for a Southern burger!
What to Serve with the Best Grilled Hamburger Recipe Ever
Grilling burgers is the ultimate summer cookout meal! They go well with any of the following sides:
- Classic Pasta Salad, Easy Pasta Salad, and Southern Macaroni Salad
- Easy Baked Beans, Homemade Baked Beans with Bacon, Ranch Style Beans, or Crock Pot Pork and Beans
- Hush Puppies
- Coleslaw or Vinegar Coleslaw
- Hoe Cakes
- Baked Potato Wedges, Twice Baked Potatoes, 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives, Skin On Mashed Red Potatoes, Baked Potatoes, or Easy Potato Salad
- Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese, Crock Pot Mac and Cheese, Stovetop Shells and Cheese, or No-Boil Easy Mac and Cheese
- Corn Salad, Jiffy Corn Casserole, or Fried Corn
- Wedge Salad, Classic Caesar Salad, House Salad with Candied Pecans, or a Green Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Refrigerator Dill Pickles, Cucumber Salad with Vinegar, Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad, or Cucumber Dill Salad
- Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon or Southern-Style Green Beans
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Southern Succotash
- Southern Collard Greens
- Fried Okra
- Broccoli and Cheese
- Okra and Tomatoes
- Southern Squash Casserole
- Make Ahead: Prepare the patties up to 24 hours in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to grill.
- To Freeze Raw Hamburger Patties: Place in a single layer in a freezer bag (separated by parchment paper if you plan to stack them). The frozen patties will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use you can thaw the patties in the refrigerator overnight, or grill them frozen — just add a few extra minutes of cooking time and use your meat thermometer to make sure that the hamburgers reach your desired temperature.
- To Store Grilled Hamburgers: When tightly-wrapped, leftovers will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Place the burgers on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven and warm just until heated through (this will only take a few minutes if the patties are at room temperature). You can also warm individual patties in the microwave for about 1 minute.
Grilled Hamburger Recipe Variations
- Toast the hamburger buns. This is personal preference, but a toasted bun is a nice finishing touch. Slice the buns in half, slather them with butter, and toast them in a toaster oven, on a griddle, or on the back of the grill away from the direct heat.
- Swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or ground chicken. Just make sure that you’re using turkey or chicken with a decent amount of fat (not 99% lean turkey breast, for example). If the meat is too lean, you’ll end up with a dry, tough burger.
- Try different seasonings. For instance, you might like to season the meat with this all-purpose house seasoning blend, with a bbq rub, or with garlic powder or onion powder.
- Double the ingredients to make 12 patties, or cut the ingredients in half for just 3 patties.
Tips for the Best Hamburger Recipe for Grilling
- Keep the Meat Cold: Shape the patties quickly, and then give them time to chill in the refrigerator before cooking. If the meat gets too warm while you’re forming the patties, the fat may melt and smear. This causes the fat to separate from the lean meat, so that more fat drips off during the cooking process and yields a dry, dense burger. The chilling time also helps the meat hold together so that your patties don’t fall apart on the grill (since we’re not using any binders like egg or bread crumbs).
- Add Seasoning Before Grilling: Season the meat before you form the patties. This will ensure that your hamburgers are evenly seasoned all the way through — rather than just sprinkling some salt on top at the end.
- Don’t Over-Mix: Be gentle when combining your ingredients and shaping your patties. Over-mixing the meat will yield a dry, dense burger.
- Make Indentations in Your Patties: This small dimple in the middle of the hamburger patties will prevent the burger from puffing up into a round ball when it cooks on the grill.
- Don’t Press Down on the Burgers: Don’t press down on the burgers while they’re cooking on the grill. It might be tempting, but pushing down just squeezes out the fat that you want to keep inside for juicy, flavorful hamburgers.
- Allow the Burgers to Rest: Don’t cut or bite into the hamburgers as soon as they come off the grill. Allow them to rest for a few minutes, which gives the juices time to redistribute through the meat. This way you end up with a nice, juicy burger!
More Ground Beef Recipes to Try
- Slow Cooker Chili
- One Pan Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Creamy Beef and Shells
- Easy Bolognese Sauce
- Easy Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Ground Beef Enchiladas
- Frito Pie
- Ground Beef Casserole with Cornbread Crust
- Hamburger Casserole
- Southern Meatloaf
- Bisquick Cheeseburger Pie
This recipe was originally published in July, 2020. The photos were updated in May, 2022.